7 Inventions That Totally Changed the Modern World

These inventions changed life as we know it.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

The entrepreneurs on Oxygen's upcoming docuseries Quit Your Day Job, which premieres Wed., March 30 at 10/9c, are embarking to change the world with their business ideas. Every inventor can’t reinvent the wheel—but some totally do. There are some inventions that are so groundbreaking, so game-changing and Earth-shattering that they change human life as we know it forever. Here are seven inventions that totally changed the modern world.

1.. The Internet

It’s kind of hard to remember life without the Internet. A time without Google, music streaming or being able to read this article is not a time to be alive. No, Al Gore didn’t invent it. It was a 50-year process to get to what we know now as the modern Internet.

2.. Microwave Oven

Back in the day, we cooked food with fire. In 1945, Percy Spencer invented the microwave oven and we never had to heat a Hot Pocket over fire again. The engineer stumbled upon his brilliant discovery when microwaves caused a candy bar to melt in his pocket. "My grandfather was watching a microwave testing rig, and he realized that the peanut-cluster bar in his pocket started to melt — it got quite warm," the inventor’s grandson told Business Insider. This pocket accident led to the impatient chef’s best friend. 

3.. Dry Shampoo

Dry and shampoo seem contradictory but this little beauty invention has changed the way we wash—or don’t wash—our hair. A little bit sops up natural oils and adds crazy volume. Now days of unwashed hair is a good thing.

4.. CD Player

Streaming may be what all the kids are into now but there was a time that no home décor was complete without a tower of clunky CDs. In 1982, Sony changed the digital audio game with the release of the first commercial compact disc player, the CDP-101 in Japan. This new invention delivered a crisp sound and rid the need to lug around bulky vinyl or cassettes. Plus, it came with an annoying skipping during your favorite parts of a song.

5.. Coca-Cola


Coke. Pop. Soda. Call it by any name, but Coca-Cola is the iconic American soft drink. Introduced in 1886, legend has it that Coke was invented by Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton (the original version included caffeine and cocaine) and the secret recipe has been closely guarded for over a century.



Shapewear has been around since the dawn of time. Women have squeezed into corsets, waist-cinchers and girdles in order to get the perfect, hourglass figure. Sara Blakely launched SPANX in 2000 and introduced not only a billion-dollar business, but she helped shapewear go mainstream with women and celebrities alike proudly flaunting their SPANX.

7.. Smartphone


Call me maybe? You can thank the invention of the smartphone for the reason you have carpal tunnel syndrome and rarely look up to talk to people in real life. The first smartphone was the Simon invented in 1992. Created by IBM, the Simon Personal Communicator was the first phone to fuse the cell phone and a PDA. It launched for a lofty $899 with a service contract.


Four investors turn big ideas into big business on Oxygen’s new docuseriesQuit Your Day Jobpremiering Wed., March 30 at 10/9c. 


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